With the premiere on the Disney Plus platform of the animated series Dug and Carl (Bob Peterson, from 2021), one can remember that it does not seem very debatable that Up (Pete Docter and Peterson, 2009) is one of the best and most hilarious and emotional Pixar movies.
The first sequence breaks your heart, something very unusual because, if they want to find your tears, they usually leave it for the last stretch, as in Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010) or Coco (Unkrich and Adrián Molina, 2017). And, later on, what they offer us is a splendid adventure and with a great capacity to start us good laughs; and we owe this enjoyment to the script written by the directors themselves.
Thus, with no feature film sequels in sight that Andy Davis’s toys have had, to start with Pixar, and Monsters, SA (Docter, Unkrich and David Silverman, 2001), Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton and Unkrich , 2003), The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004) and Cars (John Lasseter, 2006), it should not surprise us that, at least, they decided to make some complementary short films, an ingrained Pixar custom.
From there came the acceptable Dug and George and AJ’s Special Mission (Ronaldo Del Carmen, Josh Cooley, 2009); and now is when it comes the anthology of Dug and Carl to get on with it.
‘Dug and Carl’: the good humor and contrasts of ‘Up’
The titles of the series already make one smile, because of what we see and because of knowing about these two characters again. And, not only does it cost you nothing to keep it in viewers, but with that hilarity that gave us such a good time Up we can also indulge here.
The twelve minutes of “Squirrell” (1×01) are a gin from the beginning to the end And, apart from serving to show us that Dug and Carl have in no way lost the spirit of the film, with that tasty contrast of the characters of the main characters, in this chapter we also smell the soul of the old Disney shorts starring the poor Pluto, like The Bandit of Bones or War Rations (Charles A. Nichols, 1948, 1950), as Kaffir as possible.
As much of it has “Puppies” (1×02), but his humorous staging is based above all on transforming unimportant situations into what can only be something serious for a dog like Dug. AND “Flowers” (1×03), which uses a premise that those who live with these animals know very well and whose naive bad slob is limited to your dream fantasy that turns into a bad dream.
As to “Smell” (1×04), includes a miniscule mystery that, of course, is not for Up’s canine, but he continues to take advantage of canine psychology for his jokes and insists on the funny replicas of the old man. Finally, “Science” (1×05), the episode that concludes this short Pixar season, has a little surprise in store for us and confirms that Bob Peterson (Forky asks a question) has not forgotten how to move with little thing.
One of the late Ed Asner’s last works
In case it wasn’t obvious, to design Carl Fredricksen, Pixar’s art team set their sights on the long-awaited American actor Spencer Tracy. But yes the voice Russell’s pesky belongs to Jordan Nagai (The Simpsons) and Dug’s belongs to Bob Peterson himself in Up and, of course, in Dug and Carl, the old ex-curmudgeon is given it Ed asner, another veteran American performer, who died on August 29, whom Pixar wanted to have as Christopher Plummer (A Wonderful Mind) for the villain Charles Muntz.
His career of more than four hundred performances different, it is said soon, was marked by the Warden Bragan of the episode “What Frightened You, Fred?” (7×30) by Alfred Hitchcock presents (1955-1962) and Jack Stander from the chapter “To Catch a Butterfly” (1×09) from The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1962-1965), Bart Jason in El Dorado (Howard Hawks, 1966) , Captain Thomas Davies of Roots (1977), Guy Bannister in JFK: Case open (Oliver Stone, 1991), the vocal cords of Roland Daggett in five episodes of Batman: The Animated Series (Eric Radomski and Bruce Timm, 1992-1995) and of J. Jonah Jameson in thirty-five of Spider-Man (John Semper , 1994-1998).
But Ed Asner was also Maurice in the chapter “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas” (6×06) of The X-Files (Chris Carter, 1993), Wilson White in six episodes of Studio 60 (Aaron Sorkin, 2006-2007), the Herschel of the chapter “Dead on a Rival” (11×12) of Modern family (Steven Leviatan and Christopher Lloyd, 2009-2020) or Sid Weinberg in three episodes of Cobra Kai (Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, since 2018). But surely he would like one of the last things he gave us was the laughs of Dug and Carl on Disney Plus.